The Times articles are inconclusive about a lot of issues, but they are devastatingly conclusive about Miller as a journalist -- including, the confirmation that, within a few weeks of assuming the editorship of the Times, "in one of his first personnel moves, Mr. Keller told Ms. Miller that she could no longer cover Iraq and weapons issues," and including the Times' long-delayed acknowledgement that 5 of the 6 articles in its WMD mea culpa "were written or co-written by Ms. Miller."
One thing we do know about Judy Miller is that she's no dummy. Whether or not Libby said the words "Valerie Plame," and whether or not Libby knew or revealed that Plame was covert, it's inconceivable that Miller did not know what was going on: a high-level administration official was trying to smear a critic of the administration. That's news. That's something the readers of the New York Times --and the American people -- deserved to know, and yet she did nothing with the information.
It is an embarrassment to the NYTimes and all of us who bothered to defend Miller's refusal to reveal her source on journalistic grounds. We are covered with egg today.
But the rest of the Media has also disgraced itself on this story. The DC Media establishment is covered in hypocrisy and disgrace:
THE LYING OFFENDS THEM. For both politicians and journalists, trust is the coin of the realm. Without trust, the system breaks down.
"We have our own set of village rules," says David Gergen, editor at large at U.S. News & World Report, who worked for both the Reagan and Clinton White House. "Sex did not violate those rules. The deep and searing violation took place when he not only lied to the country, but co-opted his friends and lied to them. That is one on which people choke.
. . . "[S]ays Chris Matthews, who once was a top aide to the late Speaker of the House Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill . . . "[t]here has to be a functional trust by reporters of the person they're covering. Clinton lies knowing that you know he's lying. It's brutal and it subjugates the person who's being lied to. I resent deeply being constantly lied to."
. . . "His behavior," says Lieberman, "is so over the edge. What is troubling is the deceit, the failure to own up to it. Before this is over the truth must be told."
. . . "The judgment is harsher in Washington," says The Post's Broder. "We don't like being lied to."
On the flip I want to take a closer look at 4 other journalists (other than Miller and Cooper, of course Novak was also involved but he has not been a journalist for a long time) who KNEW the Bush Administration was lying -- Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, and Andrea Mitchell of NBC; and the one honorable and professional journalist to emerge from this disgrace -- Walter Pincus of the Washington Post. Pincus was the one journalist who called the liars liars.
Q: Given -- given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?
THE PRESIDENT: That's up to -
Q: And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.
There was nothing ambiguous about the White House lie:
Q: All right. Let me just follow up. You said this morning, "The President knows" that Karl Rove wasn't involved. How does he know that?
MR. McCLELLAN: . . . I said it is simply not true. So, I mean, it's public knowledge. I've said that it's not true. And I have spoken with Karl Rove --. . .
Q . . . I'm not asking what you said, I'm asking if the President has a factual basis for saying -- for your statement that he knows Karl Rove --
MR. McCLELLAN: He's aware of what I've said, that there is simply no truth to that suggestion. And I have spoken with Karl about it.
What did Tim Russert do to report this blatant lying by the Bush Administration? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He lied to his audience and pretended he didn't know the truth.
Here's how Richard Schmitt reported it in the Los Angeles Times:
SCHMITT (8/10/04): NBC issued a statement saying the network made Russert available under an agreement where he was not required to appear before the grand jury and was not asked questions that would have required him "to disclose information provided to him in confidence."
"Mr. Russert told the special prosecutor that, at the time of that conversation, he did not know Ms. Plame's name or that she was a CIA operative, and that he did not provide that information to Mr. Libby," the NBC statement said.
"Mr. Russert said that he first learned Ms. Plame's name and her role at the CIA when he read a column written by Robert Novak later that month."
Did Tim Russert report any of this to his audience? Why no. Not ever. A disgrace. But Tim Russert has never been a true journalist. He is a political hack whose connections landed him a spot at NBC and then the Meet the Press gig that he has, to be fair, turned into the must see spot on Sunday talk.
Because Russert has always been a political animal, it is hardly surprising that he felt no obligation to his audience. As Somerby says, he plays us for rubes every Sunday. And his lying to his audience about what he knew about Plamegate is par for the course.
In early October 2003, NEWSWEEK reported that immediately after Novak's column appeared in July, Rove called MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews and told him that Wilson's wife was "fair game." But White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters at the time that any suggestion that Rove had played a role in outing Plame was "totally ridiculous." On Oct. 10, McClellan was asked directly if Rove and two other White House aides had ever discussed Valerie Plame with any reporters. McClellan said he had spoken with all three, and "those individuals assured me they were not involved in this."
Chris Matthews lied to his audience by pretending he did not know this. He let BushCo lie and enjoyed it. After his sanctimony about Clinton's sex lies, what more do we need to know about the disgrace that is Tweety.
Andrea Mitchell actually is a veteran television reporter, but she has this little conflict problem, she is married to Alan Greenspan. But she knew BushCo was lying and said nothing. Except pretend she was not involved.
Now finally, let's review the work of a real journalist -- one who respects his profession - Walter Pincus:
After he went public in 2003 about the trip, senior Bush administration officials, trying to discredit Wilson's findings, told reporters that Wilson's wife, who worked at the CIA, was the one who suggested the Niger mission for her husband. Days later, Plame was named as an "agency operative" by syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, who has said he did not realize he was, in effect, exposing a covert officer. A Senate committee report would later say evidence indicated Plame suggested Wilson for the trip.
There. A plain declarative statement. "Senior Bush Administration officials, trying to discredit Wilson's findings, told reporters that Wilson's wife, who worked at the CIA, was the one who suggested the Niger mission for her husband." BushCo lied.
Senior Bush administration officials told a different story about the trip's origin in the days between July 8 and July 12, 2003. They said that Wilson's wife was working at the CIA dealing with weapons of mass destruction and that she suggested him for the Niger trip, according to three reporters.
Here's more --
This Washington Post reporter spoke the next day to an administration official, who talked on the condition of anonymity, and was told in substance "that the White House had not paid attention to the former ambassador's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction," as reported in an Oct. 14 article.
Want more reporting by a reporter? this:
A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.
Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.
The June 10 memo is critical to this story of course. It demonstrates that the Wilson attack was coordinated prior to Wilson's July 6 op-ed, as Judith Miller's testimony now makes clear.
As demonstrated today on Political hack George Stephanopolous's show, those folks who have no respect for journalism will now attack Fitzgerald and defend their other DC hack friends. Remember these people, and the dishonor and disgrace they do to the profession of journalism.
It is not just Judith Miller. It is the whole DC Cocktail Party Circuit establishment. These are the same people that gave BushCo a pass in lying to the country in order to force the Iraq Debacle down our throats.